Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Colorado University Fires Ward Churchill

While the irrational Left will make this sound like a "blow to free speech", the real reason the former CU professor was fired has nothing to do with his repugnant, irresponsible remarks he is best known for. Mr. Churchill was fired for plagiarism, which is a big no-no in the world of academia, no matter how highly esteemed the educator may be. But despite this well-known academic taboo, there are those that are appalled by this decision.

From the Denver Post:

The nearly unanimous decision to fire professor Ward Churchill stirred discontent among some faculty Tuesday, many of whom vowed to fight the decision.

Many professors said they saw the decision coming and said they were crushed by what it might do to recruiting creative professors to the campus.


Looks good on paper, but I submit to you another argument: Allowing plagiarism to go unchecked will do more damage to a university, than firing a professor regarded as a (so-called) champion of free speech. What the Churchill supporters won't tell you is that Mr. Churchill was not just accused of one instance of plagiarism. In fact, just read this 125 page report, if you really want to see just how big of a phony this guy is.

No folks, this isn't about the little Eichmanns comment. People say the most irresponsible things in the world and still get to keep their jobs. (SEE: Congress) But when a university doesn't take action against someone that copies other people's works without giving proper credit, it leaves a black mark on the university and will do more damage than anything else.

So, the only question that remains is, what took them so long?

13 comments:

Greg said...

I'm a bit disappointed he wasn't fired for the "little Eichmans" comment. That's all I needed to hear.

Gotta love these professors who defend him: Many professors said they saw the decision coming and said they were crushed by what it might do to recruiting creative professors to the campus.

"Creative"??? Listen, I have a creative new theory on the holocaust - it's a hoax. Maybe with that I can get a cushy job at CU shaping young minds with evil propaganda.

Anyway, those of us who are somewhat sane should boycott "truthers" like this idiot Churchill, Charlie Sheen, Rosie O'Donnell etc.

Greg said...

Although, I guess Churchill isn't a "truther," strictly speaking. He said something along the lines of, "It's too bad we had to wait for arabs to do what we should have done ourselves a long time ago." He's worse than a truther - he actually was happy on 9/11.

L'Amerloque said...

Hi LASunsett !


Amerloque was 100% certain that LASunsett would be posting on this. (grin)


Amerloque defends all free speech – in spite of the "Eichmanns" comment and the "chickens coming home to roost" comment.


Without free speech – about anything and everything – the Constitution means nothing. Living over here where there is but limited free speech, Amerloque appreciates it, even if he is 100% against (or for) whatever is being said.


Nevertheless, while Amerloque and LASunsett might not necessarily come down on the same side of the coin about Churchill's 9/11 comments, Amerloque is 100% against plagiarism and joins LASunsett absolutely and incontrovertribly 100% when he says:


// …/… Allowing plagiarism to go unchecked will do more damage to a university, than firing a professor regarded as a (so-called) champion of free speech. …/… //


The report LASunsett linked to, which Amerloque has waded through, demonstrates that Churchill plagiarized and invented. For those reasons he should be sacked. No question about it.


// …/… So, the only question that remains is, what took them so long? …/… //


Investigating and writing the dam' report, perhaps ? (grin) There is an _awful_ lot of stuff in there and a _lot_ of reading had to be done, is the way Amerloque sees it.


The only way any 'corporation' - whether academia, Congress, city police forces (LA, NY), Army, big business, judicial authorites (Duke), whatever - can merit and keep respect is to weed out the bad apples, the dishonest, the fly-by-nighters, the incompetent, the outright criminals.


It is an ongoing process. This is an example.


Bravo for linking to the report, too.


Best,
L'Amerloque

Greg said...

Hi, l'Amerloque.

Everyone in America is for free speech (well, except those pushing the so-called "fairness doctrine"), but where in the Constitution does it say the gov't has to pay for one's offensive speech? CU is a public university. They wouldn't tolerate a racist professor or a creationist biology prof, would they?

Mustang said...

of others not only act dishonestly, but they stand in violation of copyright laws as well.

Like L'Amerloque, I feel comfortable allowing people to see Churchill for what he is through his own words. Anyone can say what they want, and one consequence of this is that petty comments draw attention to the fact that the speaker may very well be a complete idiot. My point is that it is possible that there is justice in the world afterall.

Mustang said...

Okay . . . I'm not sure what happened (above) but here is what I intened to say . . .

About free speech: when brave young men and women pay the ultimate price for preserving the right of self-expression, it isn’t “free.”

With that observation, not all speech enjoys protection from the consequences of expression. For example, a person who announces to others that the boss is a jerk will run the risk of losing his or her job. Slander and libel may result in civil or criminal prosecution, and people who plagiarize the work of others not only act dishonestly, but they stand in violation of copyright laws as well.

Like L'Amerloque, I feel comfortable allowing people to see Churchill for what he is through his own words. One consequence of grudging commentary may be that others will come to see the speaker as a complete idiot. It is possible, even likely, that there is justice in the world.

LASunsett said...

Hi Amerloque,

//while Amerloque and LASunsett might not necessarily come down on the same side of the coin about Churchill's 9/11 comments//

I am with you.

I don't agree with his comments. But, I have no problem with Churchill saying what he wants. I, like you, support free speech even if the person says things that are irrational and dead wrong. I even said as much here, last year when the recommendation was made to fire him.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//They wouldn't tolerate a racist professor or a creationist biology prof, would they?//

Wasn't the President of Harvard canned for exercising his free speech?

LASunsett said...

Hi Mustang,

//One consequence of grudging commentary may be that others will come to see the speaker as a complete idiot.//

Another is that it irritates enough people that will dig into the speaker's background and come up with all kinds of skeletons, like falsified work.

I have little doubt, had he never made those idiotic remarks, it's quite possible he'd not only still be teaching at CU, he'd still be chairman of whatever Mickey Mouse department he was head of, before all of this began.

L'Amerloque said...

Hi Greg !


/*/ …/… Everyone in America is for free speech (well, except those pushing the so-called "fairness doctrine"), but where in the Constitution does it say the gov't has to pay for one's offensive speech? CU is a public university. They wouldn't tolerate a racist professor or a creationist biology prof, would they? /*/


(smile) What it says in the Constitution is "free speech".


If one were to take the reasoning ("gov't should not pay") to but one of its logical examples, one could abridge the words of the President of the United States, whose salary is paid by taxpayers. (smile)


When he hears the "gov't should not pay" argument, Amerloque alway feels that there seems to be a confusion between 'government' and 'consumerism'.


From dictionary.com:


//Government: The political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration.//


and


//Consumerism: The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.//


One of the duties of 'government' is to ensure "free speech", to Amerloque's way of thinking.


One of the goals of 'consumerism' is to protect the "consumer", to Amerloque's way of thinking.


Obviously, at some moment in time, the two concepts will be on a collision course … at least to Amerloque's way of thinking …


There's probably a lot of stuff being said under the name of "free speech" that Greg, LASunsett, Mustang, and Amerloque don't agree with, for various reasons, and due to various political viewpoints and lifestyles and backgrounds and philosophies. Perhaps the proportion of "left" to "right" in public discourse is "out of balance", for example. (grin)


However, "free speech" – at least to Amerloque's way of thinking, again – is not like a local library, or a new freeway, or a civic center or a municipal pool or a new school gym, i.e., physical infrastructures that are paid for by taxpayers, which have a finite use cycle / lifetime.


"Free speech" is a concept, a freedom. It is not finite real estate.


Moreover, as Mustang pointed out, "free speech" does indeed have a "cost". People paid – heavily – for that freedom, and it should not – at least in Amerloque's view – be thrown away lightly.


Finally, what better place to find "free speech" than in a university, after all ?


Again, in Amerloque's view, US taxpayers should be happy and proud that their taxes are being used for a public university which fosters "free speech" – even if the "free speech" is unpleasant, and even if the "free speech" is offensive and, perhaps, quite over the top.


Only in that way can a democratic society survive – and remain healthy, in Amerloque's view.


What the university has stated here is that "free speech" is not "plagiarism".


Best,
L'Amerloque

Greg said...

Wasn't the President of Harvard canned for exercising his free speech?

Indeed. And actually, it has harmed the university. They had trouble finding someone to take his place, and large donations have been withdrawn.

Also, l'Amerloque makes the essential point that it IS different when you're talking about a public university. They simply can't fire someone because of the content of their speech - it would be illegal.

Which makes me reconsider my original position. Though I am quite sure no one would have a problem firing a holocaust-denying history professor from a public university.

In any case, now that he is fired, other universities won't have to hire him and he may be out of the business of brainwashing college students. All's well that ends well.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//In any case, now that he is fired, other universities won't have to hire him and he may be out of the business of brainwashing college students. All's well that ends well.//

I wish I could share your confidence on this one, but I am not so sure. This guy would be the the right candidate for a position at UC-Berkley, Columbia University, or his alma mater University if Illinois-Springfield, which was known as Sangemon State University at the time of his college days. All three are known for their far-left faculties and are a breeding ground for the Daily Kos way of thinking.

Greg said...

It's one thing to have a tenured professor already on the payroll say discpicable things about 9/11 victims. But if a university hires someone knowing he holds those views, it really does mean 9/11 means nothing to some people.